Monday, February 11, 2013

Stand up! Stand up!

       Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego stood up for what they believed in, despite severe consequenses. They were threatened with being thrown in a blazing furnace if they didn't bow down to a golden statue and they simply said, "Oh Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter.  If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up."  (Daniel 3:16-18)  This made the king furious and he ordered the furnace to to be made 7 times more hot than usual and ordered them thrown in.  It was so hot that the men who threw them in died, but Shadrach, Mesach and Abednego were protected by God and they were not at all hurt by the fire. They are a wonderful example to us to always stand up for our beliefs, even if it means possible death.  Trusting in God, they refused to worship the gold statue.  They knew it was a possibility that they wouldn't survive the furnace, but they were willing to die for what they believed in.
       Christian business owners are facing a challenge that goes against what they believe in and many of them are standing up, even if it means consequences. The Department of Health and Human Services issued a mandate last year as a part of the heatlth care bill that President Obama signed in 2010 that employers with more than 50 full-time workers have to provide "preventative services" in their insurance plans.  The "preventative services" include birth control pills, sterilization, and "emergency contraception" that may be considered abortions.  Any company that doesn't offer the drugs faces fines of $100 a day per employee.  For the craft store, Hobby Lobby, that has 13,000 employees, the fines would be up to $1.3 million. On their website they say that the company is comitted to "honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles." The owner and CEO, David Green,  says that it would go against his religious beliefs to pay for "emergency contraception."  Hobby Lobby is just one of 14 for-profit oraganizations that have filed suits against HHS. They all say the mandate violates their Christian beliefs.  But the government says that Christian business owners don't have religious freedom when it comes to managing their companies.  The fourteen companies may only be a small number in the business world, but they are standing up for what they believe in, just like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
       We should follow the example from the men of long ago, and the men of today, and always stand up for what we know is right, even if there is a consequence.

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